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2012 BMW 6-Series Coupe: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

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On: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 8:51AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


2012 BMW 6-Series Coupe:  Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

Anyone buying a new car is probably well versed in the idea that when it comes to new transportation, it seems that the list of choices, options, and decisions to be made seems almost endless. Where one ends, the next begins, and where that one goes might actually counteract a previous decision, thereby making you start to reconsider that choice but then wonder how that choice will affect your next choice... the mind can take only so much. When it comes to a car like the 2012 BMW 6-Series, you're going to have to be ready to make more than a few decisions if you're thinking of buying one.

The first big question is whether or not you like it more than the discontinued version of a couple years ago. The new Six has toned down the somewhat over-the-top styling of the old car, but, for some, it may now be a little too tame. The over-exaggerated long hood/short deck profile is gone, replaced with an almost benign-feeling car that looks good from the rear 3/4 view, but then seems to blend in with everything else on the road from any other angle. It even bears a striking resemblance to an early 2000's Chrysler Sebring Coupe—not what you want in an $85,000 vehicle.

But once you get beyond its ho-hum exterior, you still have a few choices to make. The next is whether you want to opt for the 640i or the top of the line 650i. Both cars are substantially more refined and agile than their discontinued predecessor, but the big decision comes in deciding how much more agile you want your 6-Series to be. The base 640i comes with the tried and true corporate 3.0-liter turbo inline six-cylinder engine that makes a respectable 315 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque, while opting for the bigger, badder 650i gets you the other company engine—a 4.4-liter V8 pumping out 401 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque. Although the 6-Series is no lightweight at 3,660 pounds, improved gearing in the eight-speed automatic transmission and plenty torque on tap helps propel the 640i to 60 mph in a claimed 5.4 seconds and the 650i to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. Both cars are limited to 155 mph top end. That same gearing also allows the 640i to average a combined 19 mpg, which is very good compared to some of its competitors.

However, if that is not fast enough, you may then have to decide if you are willing to wait for the next generation M6 which will not be around for another year, but will undoubtedly boast the same blown 4.4-liter motor ratcheted up to an X6 M-like 555 horsepower and bring that 0-60 mph time down around the 4.0 second flat mark. But if a year is just too long to wait, then the 640i or 650i may be the car for you. But just keep in mind that the 6-Series is indeed a sporty grand tourer, not a roomy all-out sports car. It does display excellent handling characteristics, thanks to solid and communicative electromechanical steering and a stiff chassis. The 6-Series displays superb grip and plenty of... ahem... choices... in terms of driving modes to choose from: Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, or Sport-Plus, which change priorities in terms of shift and throttle response, as well as handling and fuel usage according to your mood (and mode) that day.

As previously mentioned, the 6-Series is indeed a wonderful GT car, and if you opt for the 650i, you still have at least one more choice to make in terms of big options. For the first time on the 6, you will get an all-wheel drive option. Although the AWD option will add some heft to the already heavy Six, it will make the 650i a very viable option in terms of practicality versus its GT competitors like a Jaguar XK or Aston Martin.

All in all, the 2012 6-Series is a very capable car that impresses with everything except its exterior styling. That's not to say it's ugly by any stretch of the imagination, but there won't be any neck-snapping to see one pass by on the highway, and most cell phone cameras will probably stay in the 'off' position. But, with any luck the M6 will infuse a bit of that excitement that might be lacking. Until then the 640i or 650i will do nicely, and the only question left is what color to get it in?


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